All children have the right to attend school and reach their full potential, but those with chronic illnesses often face particular challenges. Because having a chronic condition shouldn't interrupt a child's education, the Educational Liaison Program of the Pediatric Epilepsy Center of Excellence provides essential services to support patients with epilepsy and their families.

What is an educational liaison?

The liaison is a state-credentialed education specialist and an integral part of the Pediatric Epilepsy Center of Excellence. For parents and other guardians, an educational liaison can provide a variety of services, including helping you navigate the special education process, facilitating communication between you and your child's school, and making sure you understand your child's guaranteed rights under federal law.

Working with children from preschool to college age, our liaisons offer educational consulting services throughout the academic year and even during the summer.

Who needs liaison services?

These services can benefit families with school-age children whose epilepsy has adversely impacted their education. The epilepsy educational liaison's goal is to provide families with the tools to ensure their children have positive educational experiences.

Some educational needs are complex and beyond the scope of services a liaison can provide. In those circumstances, we will advise you about appropriate next steps and, when possible, give you contact information for other resources that can help.

What happens during a consultation?

During the initial consultation, the liaison will listen to your questions and concerns, assess your child's school needs and provide you with information about your child's educational rights.

How can a liaison help?

The epilepsy educational liaison can provide the following services:

  • Educate parents about their children's educational rights and assist them with navigating the school system
  • Facilitate educational screening assessments to determine appropriate services that can help children who have been out of school with the transition back
  • Make recommendations for school interventions (various methods of providing extra instruction)
  • Assist families preparing for meetings about a student study team (SST), 504 plan or individualized education program (IEP)
  • Coordinate academic instruction in the home or hospital
  • Work with families and school staff to ensure everyone is aware of the short- and long-term effects that chronic illnesses have on children's learning abilities
  • Provide resources and materials for anything the family needs to understand better

The liaison will work with you and your child's school to determine eligibility for services. Once appropriate services have been identified, the liaison will continue working with your family to ensure they are put in place.